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PATRIOT DOWNS U.K. PLANE

An American Patriot missile has accidentally shot down a Royal Air Force Tornado fighter plane, the BBC reports. The two crewmen in the plane, based at the RAF Marham base in western England, are missing and presumed dead.THERE'S MORE: The American advance towards Baghdad has slowed, as Marines have encountered pockets of resistance in areas earlier thought pacified. In the port city of Umm Qasr, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were caught in a four-hour firefight with Iraqi defenders. An airstrike from a Harrier jet ended the battle.At Nasirya, on the Euphrates River, 5,000 US Marines are battling at least 500 defending Iraqis for control of the main route through the town. Dozens of American casualties are being reported."What looked to be a benign ride into this city to quietly secure its major bridges turned into a firefight as Iraqi tanks, soldiers and secret police darted through the streets, turning their mortars, artillery cannons, rockets and rifles at advancing marines," according to the New York Times.Resistance in Basra -- also previously thought sedated -- has also been stiff.

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